Book Review: Knit Your Own Dog

Knit Your Own Dog is a new knitting pattern book out by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne.  I was contacted by the publisher and asked to write a review of the book.

As the authors state in their introduction, the knitted dogs are not intended as toys, although I know two little girls who would think otherwise.  The dogs are very realistic looking, from the jowls on the Bulldog to the shaggy belly on the Scottish Terrier.  It’s definitely a book for dog lovers by dog lovers. 

The book is well thought out, with separate sections for each type of dog.  I.e., hounds, sporting, terriers, and non-sporting all have their own section.  The type of yarn used in each pattern really helps to bring out the characteristics of that dog.  Loopy stitch eyebrows and whiskers set the Miniature Schnauzer apart.  Maybe you want to knit a Portugese Water Dog like Bo the Obama dog, well bring out the bouclé yarn and you can knit him too.  The yarns used are almost all Rowan brand yarns, so they should be fairly easy for the average knitter to access.  If you local yarn store doesn’t carry Rowan, Webs carries a large line of Rowan yarns. 

Knit Your Own Dog is not for the beginning knitters.  The patterns are written line by line and you do need to read each line.  If I were knitting something from the book, I would enlarge the pages on a photocopier and attack the pages with several highlighters.  The reason being that there are several rows that look like a variation of this – p3wa p3cr p3wa – cr and wa are the abbreviations for the colors the author would like you to use.  Colors that Rowan helpfully named cream and walnut.  Not as helpful if you choose to knit with an alternate yarn.  I would probably highlight each of these color abbreviations in a different color just to keep them straight.  I think a lot of this confusion could have been avoided with the addition of charts.  The finishing is also not for the faint of heart, although I think that’s to be expected with any knitted toy.  Just know going into it that there will be stuffing and sewing up and precise putting together in order to make your dog look right. 

In the comments, please mention if you would like my copy of the book.  I’ll be happy to send it to one lucky knitter.

10 thoughts on “Book Review: Knit Your Own Dog”

  1. It sounds like a fun book! I have 4 dogs but the Portie is probably the only one in the book. Flat-Coated Retrievers and Polish Lowland Sheepdogs aren’t that common but there probably be something close. I would be interested in the book.

    Marlene Hiltner

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  2. i guess I’m glad to hear the book was not about spinning your dog’s hair so you could knit it! In any case, I’m not sure I’d want to knit a dog, sounds like too much finishing work for me! Great review though.

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  3. What a great cover photo! I would love to have this book. Very helpful suggestion on decoding the pattern instructions with highlighters, too.

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  4. The book sounds interesting. I have an English Bulldog, and would like to knit a toy to resemble him. I would be interested in the book for that reason. It was a good review.

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  5. I would love to have the book none of the other worthy women win it. 🙂 I saw a review of it also and thought the dog patterns must have taken some genius to design. You are a cat person, am I right?

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  6. Love your review about the new dog book, it looks fun and interesting! I would make the cocker spaniel for my daughter, I would love to have this copy and would pass it along to other knitters who also love dogs! Theresa

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